I am writing a visual novel and use a fictional country in "real-world" setting. Some cases have been bothering me and I'm not sure if it's legal to write this because it might be insulting(?):

  1. To place my country I had to cut a part of China, so it is located between Russia, Mongolia and China.

  2. I mention that my country's army has "some connections with Japan" and recruits children from there.

  3. I mention that my country's army shoots up Mongolian illegal immigrants at the border.

Edit: To clarify, I do not have intentions of insulting countries, just want to write what would be suitable for my story and am afraid of law suits. Also I live in Russia.

Edit: I can rephrase the question so it will sound like this: Can I assign fictional slightly negative traits to countries from real world in my fictional world?

  • 1
    Are you using your fictional country to critique the real one? If so then someone is going to feel insulted. Not that it matters, it is your story... say what you want. Are you afraid of retribution? Law suits?
    – rebusB
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 16:44
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    @rebusB I don't want to critique other countries, but yeah I'm afraid of law suits
    – user40892
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 16:47
  • 2
    If you're asking about legal aspects, then you absolutely need to specify your real-world jurisdiction. Please Edit your question to incorporate that, and the other information you've added in the comments section, into the question itself.
    – user
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 18:00
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    @sunDalik "Real world jurisdiction" means where in the world do you live. :) Also, it isn't illegal to offend people. It might be unethical, but it's not illegal. So whether X is legal and whether it might offend someone are entirely separate questions. Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 18:22
  • 4
    Laws differ from place to place; certainly between countries (the US is not Germany is not Japan is not the UK is not South Korea is not Australia is not South Africa is not ... well, you get the idea), and sometimes within the same country (such as between states in the US). Unless you tell us where you are located (strictly speaking, which jurisdiction you're in), people would either (a) have to guess, or (b) answer based on any possible jurisdiction, which is overly broad. By giving this information, you are much more likely to get an answer that is useful to you.
    – user
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


Alternative history is a mainstay of speculative fiction. Redrawing countries' borders is very often a part of that. Sometimes countries that exist in the real world are missing. Sometimes new countries are added. Heck, even real history can make changes that dramatic in less than a decade.

You're asking a two-part question. First, if it's okay to invent a country and stick it in land currently part of another country (in your case, China, and perhaps parts of Russia and Mongolia). Second, if it's okay to give your invented country a personality and history and political actions.

The answer to both questions is yes. It's done all the time. Whether your story is a vision of the future as starting from our present or an alternative history set in the present day or past, or in the future with a different history today, it fits right into speculative fiction's boundaries.

It's possible some of your specifics might upset people to the point of taking legal action. And I'm not familiar with Russian law. While I doubt there's anything that would make your book illegal, I honestly have no idea if that's a risk. In the United States, everything you mention is perfectly legal and rather mundane. That may not be true elsewhere.

I was going to give you a short list of some books you might consider reading with similar aspects, starting with Ecotopia. But it turns out there are hundreds. So many that there's actually a Wikipedia page. Many of the examples on that page are stories about hidden countries (like Oz) or completely fictional places that don't interact with the rest of the world. But some are indeed about countries carved out of existing ones.


Providing you live in a country with laws protecting freedom of expression and have fair libel laws, then you aren’t doing anything that can be considered illegal.

Could China be annoyed with your story and try to take legal action against you? Possibly, but unlikely. But, as long as you stay out of China it wouldn’t amount to anything.

Could you annoy North Korea? Very unlikely. But, if you did, they have a history of hunting down and killing people that make them cross. But, think how famous you’d become, and the risk is worth the reward.

Would Mongolia get annoyed you fictional murdered their citizenry? Unlikely, they seem like a reasonable people living in a democratic parliamentary republic with an independent judiciary.

  • countries murder people across international borders ALL the time. Kim Jung Un assassinated his half brother at a Malaysian airport just last year. Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 17:40

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